Pratt & Whitney plans to invest $65 million at its engine overhaul operation in Columbus, Ga., in advance of establishing there a North American maintenance site for its PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) jet engines. The Columbus Engine Center is already the first site in the world for maintaining the PW1000G engines; the jet-engine builder plans for the site to maintain PW1100G-JM and PW1500G engines as well, in addition to its V2500, PW2000, F117 and F100 engines.
The new GTF engine maintenance capabilities will include disassembly, inspection, assembly, and testing. Pratt & Whitney stated it would start to build a new test facility adjacent to the existing test cell.
It noted too that in addition to the $65 million investment it has been updating Columbus Engine Center over recent years, including adding GTF engine MRO capabilities.
The Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engine design involves a gear system separating the engine fan from the low-pressure compressor and turbine, so that each module operates at optimal speed, reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and engine noise.
The PW1000G series engines have been selected as the exclusive option for several new jet models, including the Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), and Embraer's second generation E-Jets. It is offered as an option on the Irkut MC-21 and Airbus A320neo.
"As the GTF engine continues to enter into service, it is critical that we have a strong maintenance, repair and overhaul network in place to support these engines," stated Joe Sylvestro, P&W vice president, Aftermarket Operations, Pratt & Whitney. "The Columbus Engine Center draws on decades of high-volume engine maintenance experience and is well-positioned to provide the highest quality service to our GTF engine customers."
Sylvestro thanked “the community and state” for tremendous support of the Columbus Engine Center, though the specific contributions or incentives by local and state agencies was not detailed.